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York Road regeneration plans labelled a 'big opportunity missed'

The chairman of Maidenhead Civic Society has described plans for the rejuvenation of York Road as a ‘big opportunity missed’.

Hundreds of Maidonians poured over plans for the rejuvenation of the area at an exhibition in the Nicholsons Centre at the weekend.

Plans include a new public space which aims to be the ‘heart’ of Maidenhead, improved access to York Stream with a connected pedestrian environment and an improved setting to the existing civic buildings. 

New shops and homes will also be included in the plan, 30 per cent of which will be affordable.

Over two days on Friday and Saturday, residents could look at scale models of the plans and raise concerns with representatives from the Royal Borough’s joint venture partner Countryside.

Helen Boulter said the question of affordable housing had always been an issue since she first moved to the town in the Seventies.

Now living in Pinkneys Green, the 65-year-old added: “Where are all the new roads, hospitals and schools going to be?”

Paul Mills, 44, was concerned the development did not have any charging points for his electric vehicle.

Linda Vipond, 60, thought the plans looked good, but said the town centre would never be as good as it was.

“I think the Town Hall should be turned into a big department store,” she added.

“It’s a bit radical but I think it would look good next to the river.”

After the meeting, chairman of the planning group at Maidenhead Civic Society Martin McNamee said: “Our views are ones of disappointment with inadequate parking – both residential and office – poor civic space, shortage of cultural facilities, and a lack of information about total office space.”

The chairman of the society Bob Dulson added: “It’s a big opportunity missed.”

In a statement, he said: "This is the key site. A blank canvas alongside the waterway, town hall and library.  It’s visible from the railway and adjacent to the exciting new developments at Chapel Arches.  As the civic and cultural quarter it should deliver a bold, distinctive statement. It will seal the character of the regenerated Maidenhead for decades to come.  As the display boards said, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Everyone should see the plans and comment."

Malcolm Wood, Project Director (West London) at Countryside, said: “This project is set to make such a difference to Maidenhead and is going to be one of the most exciting schemes I have been involved with.

“Taking brownfield sites and transforming the land into usable space for the community is very rewarding.

“We look forward to submitting our plans and taking the next step in the regeneration of Maidenhead.”

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